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Doctor Who: The Internet Adventures - #9
REVOLUTION 9
Chapter 7 - "Two Beas or Not Two Beas" or
"Obligatory Chapter With a Name Utilizing a Bad Literary Pun"
by Ian McIntire




Flashback
*********

"Oi!  Earth to Professor!  You gonna eat that?"  Ace used her fork to point
to the discarded slice of watermelon that sat neglected on the side of the
Doctor's plate.  Her companion looked up at her, his train of thought
interrupted.
   "Hmmmm?  Oh.  No.  You can have it."  He returned his gaze to the
window, watching as the rising sun tinted the world strange colors. 
Genetically engineered plants absorbed contaminants from the soil,
giving their leaves an almost silver sheen.  In the distance, the sodium
streetlights were turning off, one by one, changing the Reading sky's
color from a burnt orange to its normal light gray.
   "Penny for them."  The Doctor turned to face his companion, and found a
concerned young woman looking back at him.  Ace had clearly sensed his
melancholy, and was doing her best to help him.  Her interest made him
smile.
   "Thank you," he said.  A moment later, he sighed and continued.  "A
friend of mine just died."
   Ace didn't know what to say.  She wanted to hug him - console him
in some way, but she wasn't sure how he'd react.  "I'm sorry," was
all she could say.
   "It's not your fault.  You've no reason to be sorry.  I'd only met her
once before, really - when I became her godfather."
   Ace tried to conceal her surprise.  The Doctor?  A godfather?  It was
hard for her to imagine.
   "The strange thing is, though, that she said we'd met twice before.  It
means I'll have to see her again sometime in my future.  After seeing her
... die ... I'm not sure how I'll react."
   "When you do see her again, I don't think she'd want you to dwell on
her death."  Ace really had no idea if what she was saying was helping or
hurting, but she felt that she had to say something.  What would really
help, she felt, would be getting the Doctor away from this environment,
and back into the TARDIS.  The waiter arrived with the check, and Ace
promptly snatched it from the table and fished in her pockets for currency
appropriate to 2007.  "Why don't you tell me about her on our way back?"
   The Doctor grinned slightly, and slid out of the booth.  Ace followed
him as he grabbed his umbrella from the coat rack and left the restaurant.

**************
Unflashback
**************

The cowled figure looked down at his prisoner, a smirk smeared across
his face.  The prisoner looked up disdainfully, his face a mask of defiance.
   Each waited for the other to speak.
   Each waited some more.
   "Um...." the prisoner began.  "Do you want to start, or should I?"
   "Oh.  I'll start, I guess."  The cowled figure closed his eyes briefly,
trying to get back into character.  The smirk returned, and the captor said,
"Well, my poor fool.  It seems like you've fallen right into my trap.
How.... um...."
   "What?"
   "Well, I was going to say 'How foolish of you,' but then I realized
that I'd already called you a fool.  Seemed a bit redundant."
   "Hmmm.... How about 'unwise'?"
   The captor shook his head.  "Not enough oomph."
   "Unfortunate?"
   "Implies that your capture was just due to bad luck.  I want to insult
you a little, too."
   "Brainless?"
   The captor considered for a moment.  "A bit coarse, but I guess it'll
do."  He cleared his throat.  "How brainless of you."
   "You'll never get away with this, you fiend!"  The captor threw back
his head and opened his mouth.  He was about to say something when
he was cut off by the prisoner again.  "You vile fiend!!"
   The captor again threw back his head and this time let out a maniacal
laugh.  "MWA-HA-HA-HA-HA!  HA-HA!  Oh, I beg to differ.  In fact,
I have already gotten away with this."  He paused, waiting for a response
from the prisoner.  After a few seconds of waiting, he continued.  "You
see, I've already captured your friends.  They're being interrogated right
now, and once my ... um... not troops ... associates?  I want to say
associates, but that implies that they're equals... hmmm... assistants,
I guess.  Once my assistants are finished with them, they'll be killed." 
He paused for a second, a confused expression on his face.  "That is,
*your friends* will be killed, not my assistants."
   Another pause.
   "Well?  Nothing to say?  I've come to expect some kind of feeble
protest from you."
   "Ummm.... What's your devious plan?"
   "Oh, come on."  The captor rolled his eyes.  "That was about as subtle
as ... something completely unsubtle.  Can't you do any better?"
   "Look, I'm trying, all right?"  The prisoner was on the verge of tears. 
"I think you made these manacles too tight.  I can't concentrate."
   The captor kneeled down and removed the prisoner's bindings.  "Sorry.
Look, why don't we take a break?  I really should be seeing to the Ferris
affair, and I think we could both use some time to relax."
   The prisoner sniffled a little.  "Next time, I want to be the captor, and
you can be the prisoner."
   "Sure."  The captor put his arm around the prisoner's shoulders, and
they both walked out of the cell.

*******************

A few minutes later, a pair of plasma bolts launched by the former captor
ripped through Angela Ferris' ship, completely atomizing its occupant.

*******************

One of the rebel Rutan on Paradise staggered as it felt the impact of the
bolts.  Its fellow Rutan - its progenitor - no longer existed.  *Kuldor's
attempt to negotiate with the unknown aliens has been unsuccessful.  The
revolution will continue as scheduled.  Perhaps these aliens are not
interested in an alliance.*  The information of Kuldor's death crossed the
planet in an instant.  Even agents of the Old Mind felt his - its - death
resonate in their gestalt.  The rebel mind developed a new plan.  *Capture
the installation at all costs.  Bring the human to the closest access
point, and let her provide the service for which we employed her.*  The
rebel mind congratulated itself for not taking Ferris aboard the ship.  Her
skills wouldn't have been needed for the negotiations anyway, and her
target was still deep inside the planet.
   The human in question, meanwhile, was loudly and insistently protesting
the fact that Kuldor had commandeered her vessel without asking, blissfully
unaware that said vessel no longer existed.  "Tanj it!  I wanted to
disappear, but I hadn't planned on going out in a puff of radioactive ash!"
She trailed off, realizing that it was pointless to shout after a craft
that was undoubtedly halfway into hyperspace by now.
   She muttered a few mild oaths under her breath, and looked around the
spaceport.  Oh well.  The death that the orbiting ship offered her would no
doubt be merciful and quick compared to Morok's employer's plans for
her.  She glanced at her chronometer: ten hours before the sterilization the
aliens had promised.  Time enough to - her gaze wandered across the resort,
eventually coming to rest on the beach bar - get quite comfortably sloshed.
   A Yskran had evidently had the same idea, and was lying across the bar,
unconscious.  A collection of empty liquor bottles littered the area behind
her, coating the floor with an extremely sticky mixture of their dregs.
Angela didn't know much about mixology, so she simply grabbed the first
unopened bottle she could find.
   She was about halfway through the bottle of grenadine (curiously still
level-headed) when a pair of Rutan agents approached her.  "Kul- Kuldor? 
I thought you'd stolen my ship and left."
   "We are not Kuldor" the pair chorused.  "We are.... Very well, call us
Kuldor for expediency's sake.  We are ready for you to attempt to gain
access to the planet's core."
   "Yeah, well, I'm not sure it makes any difference.  Those aliens up there
are all set to sterilize the planet."  She returned to the bottle, wincing
at the too-sweet taste.
   "They're bluffing," the Rutan chorused.
   "Yeah, right."
   "We've compared the capabilities of their craft with what we know of
the planet, and have concluded that if we can seize control of the planet's
inner workings before their deadline, the craft should pose no threat."
   "That's not bluffing.  That's playing chicken."  Ugh!  How could people
drink this stuff?  It didn't even seem to be getting her drunk.
   "Semantics are unimportant.  Accompany us."
   They had a point.  Angela stood up from her stool.  Oooh.  The grenadine
was having an effect.  Nausea blossomed in her stomach as the taste of the
grenadine forced its way up her throat.  Oddly enough, there were none of
the other effects she'd come to associate with drunkenness - no
lightheadedness, no problems with her equilibrium, no slurred speech. 
But nausea.  Oh *Goddess* nausea.  The pair of Rutan sidled next to her
and pointed her in the general direction of the beach.
   "Why - oooh - are we going this way?  Shouldn't we be going to the
shuttle pad?"
   "The entrance to the cavern system is this way, underwater."
   Angela started worrying.  "But I can't breathe underwater."
   They'd reached the shoreline now.  "Understood."  The Rutan, who by
this time were standing on either side of her, melted into their now-familiar
amorphous forms, and proceeded to pour themselves at Angela's feet.  The
level of Rutan quickly rose to her hips, her chest, her neck.  A fraction
of a second before the Rutan reached her mouth, Angela felt the contents
of her stomach give one final rebellious heave and make a break for freedom
by way of her esophagus.  *I hope you guys find grenadine more palatable
than I did.*
   Moments later, a Rutan in the shape of a large fish flopped into the ocean,
a panicking system slicer in its belly.  It swam southward, leaking a
reddish fluid.

****************

It was a large dark cavern.  It must have been close to a mile across, with
completely smooth, curved walls.  It was in the shape of a hemisphere,
with the flat side acting (fortunately) as the floor.  A single rock, about the
size and shape of a golf ball, lay in the exact center.  The room was
silent, silent as uncertainty.  Or at least, it was silent until an
otherworldly sound reverberated through the cavern.
   Dimensional energies shifted, roiled.  Given what was happening, it was
amazing that there wasn't more of an effect.  Just a wheezing, groaning
sound, followed by a soft thump.  The next thing reality knew, it had been
nudged aside, and a tall blue box had been inserted neatly.  The Doctor,
his dark green velvet coat complemented by a miner's helmet, emerged
from the box a few seconds later.  "Ah, here we are.  Everyone out, the
environment's safe enough, if a little dark."
   Wil followed, also wearing a miner's hat.  "Whoa.  Maybe they *are*
trying to obliterate every last human on the planet, but you've got to admire
their sense of interior decorating.  Very impressive."
   Jadi was lugging a huge pack of equipment on his back.  "All this aboard
that one ship in orbit?  What - is it like your TARDIS, Doctor?"
   "No no no."  The Doctor was examining the rock, prodding it in several
locations and occasionally humming into it.  "We're not on the ship, we're
inside the planet.  Ah, here we are."  He placed the rock in his mouth,
which somehow caused the cavern walls to emit a soft light.  He spit out
the rock and said, "You can take those off now.  They look silly." He
wiped the rock on the lapels of his jacket, tossing his own miner's helmet
through the TARDIS doors.
   "Erm, correct me if I've overlooked something here, Doctor, but aren't
the aliens in the ship above us the most pressing problem at the moment? 
Can't we do our amateur archeology later?"  Wil had changed clothes since
he'd entered the TARDIS, exchanging his bathing trunks and Hawaiian
shirt for a more practical jeans/T-shirt/battered military jacket/ scuffed boots
ensemble.
   "This is where the most powerful energy emissions were coming from,
so I thought we should check this out first."
   "What about Ferris?" Morok grumbled.
   "She can wait until we've dealt with the situation here."  The Doctor poked
the rock, and was putting it back in his mouth when Jadi pointed a gun at
him.
   "Look, Doc.  I've been very patient with you.  You promised me forty
thousand mazumas for not turning you in to the Toymaker.  I never got it,
but I figured 'What the hell?  The Doc's a fairly decent guy, and the
Toymaker'd probably pay me in Monopoly money anyway.'  But the Ferris
job is enough to retire on.  It's my nest-egg, got that?  I like you, Doc.  But
if you come between me and my target, I won't be held responsible for my
actions."
   The Doctor brought a hand up to his mouth, spitting out the 'control rock.'
   "Jadi, check your scanner.  There should be a human female in close
proximity to a number of Rutan readings.  They're very close by, and I'd
wager that that's who you're looking for.  Ferris was not in the ship you
saw leave Paradise."
   While keeping his gun aimed at the Doctor, Jadi pulled a portable scanner
out of his backpack.  Sure enough, the readings were exactly as the Doctor
predicted.  The bounty hunter holstered his weapon.  "I still want that
forty thou."
   "Gladly.  Wil, give Jadi back his weapon."  The Doctor returned the rock
to his mouth and walked away.
   Jadi looked for Wil, and couldn't find him anywhere.  Finally, he turned
around 180 degrees, and found Wil standing wide-eyed with fear.  His
muscles were clenched, and his hands were shaking.  He was pointing
one of Jadi's blasters directly at the bounty hunter.  Jadi made eye contact
with him, and that seemed to break the spell.  Wil relaxed, the gun now
aiming at the floor.  He turned the weapon so he was holding it by the
barrel, and handed it to Jadi.
   "Come on, you two.  We've got work to do."  The Doctor's voice
was coming from somewhere near the rim of the cavern.

****************

The pale, blonde man leaned toward the intercom on his desk.  "Roberta,"
he said, his lisp still present.  "I'm not to be disturbed for the next hour."
   "Yes sir."
   He leaned back in his chair, staring at the photos scattered on his desk.
Different angles, different photographers, different media, different
quality.  Mostly from 6 years ago, but with a wide variety still present.
Shoreditch, London, San Francisco.  A few from '95 Singapore.  Frisco
'99. A huge hologram, circa the attempted Martian invasion, reduced to
desktop size.  UNIT files, garnered from before the organization realized
how unsecure its datalines were.  Photos from yesterday.
   A cable snaked out from the man's shirt cuff, finding its way toward an
outlet.  A great deal of current would be required for this.  It had been
so long since the man had done this, so long restricted to "I" and "me" and
"my."
   Photos from sources that had appeared from before photography had
been properly invented.  Alien records from the French revolution.  He
allowed himself to smile at the way the photographer had inadvertently
captured his subjects from the neck down.  A picture of the French
revolution, and everyone's head was cut off.  Photos from yesterday,
the subject running away from his UNIT allies.
   An observer in the room would have seen the man begin to sweat
profusely.  A sheen of perspiration appeared all over his skin, even on
his clothes.  Tremors ran through his body, shaking even more drops
of sweat off. Evidence beyond human understanding, telepathic spoor
traces, psychological profiles.  Eyewitness accounts from patrons of an
Indian restaurant, and a woman who'd had a gnome stolen.  Photos from
yesterday, the subject running away from his UNIT allies, a safari
jacket hugging his shoulders, and an inane grin plastered across his face.
   The sweat became opaque, and thick, almost syrupy.  It flowed from
every pore, from his mouth, from his nostrils, ears and tear ducts.  The
fluid pooled on the floor, flowing gently to a central point in front of the
desk.
   Photos from yesterday, me running away from my UNIT allies, a safari
jacket hugging my shoulders, and an inane grin plastered across my face.
   When the blonde man regained consciousness, he was staring at the
Doctor. The copy had extended a power cord of his own, and was feeding
off the current from the outlet.  The man smiled.
   "We have our orders" the pair chorused together.  The Doctor left the
back way.  The man continued feeding for a few more moments, then
retracted his cord, straightened his hair, adjusted his tie and went out for
his next meeting.

****************

"Do you trust him?"  Wil and the Doctor were walking along the
circumference of the circular chamber, looking for any kind of opening
they could find.  The subject of their discussion was doing the same,
walking in the opposite direction.
   "He's a good man, Wil.  He's just trying to deal with a universe that he
perceives as intrinsically unfair."  The Doctor's voice sounded a bit odd,
but he'd just about gotten the hang of talking around the rock.
   "He's a money-grubbing thug."
"Nobody's perfect."
   "He could have shot you back there!"
   "No he couldn't."  The Doctor produced a tiny power cell from inside a
pocket.  "I took this from his gun."
   Wil paused.  "What about the one that I had?"
   "Fully charged."
   Wil realized how close he'd been to shooting Jadi in the back.  It wasn't
a pleasant feeling.
   "So, now that we have a few spare moments, care to tell me what kind
of business you had to attend to?"
   "I took a nap."
   Wil looked at the Doctor askance.  "A nap?  I thought you said it would
take years."
   "It did.  I slept for about a decade."
   "What?"
   "Wil, did you know that the only Terran animal that concentrates all of its
daily requirement for sleep into one chunk is Homo Sapiens?  The rest of
the animal kingdom takes several quick naps that last a few minutes each.
That's where you get the term 'cat nap.'"
   "And what does this have to do with your sleeping for several years?"
   "Time Lords take the idea one step further.  We concentrate our sleep even
more.  After what we'd just been through, you can't say I hadn't earned a
quick rest."
   Wil conceded the point.  "What about this woman you picked up?"
   "She's me."
   "Ah.  Can't say I see the resemblance."
   "She's -"  The Doctor spat out the rock and stopped walking.  "She's
evidently a clone of me.  Telepathically, she's acquired some of my
memories.  I'm not sure how many of them she's gotten, but it seems to
varying rapidly.  One moment, she knows things about Ancient Gallifrey
that I'm sure I never managed to remember, and the next minute all she
knows is a phone number for a Martian takeaway place on Kapteyn.  I'm
a bit worried about her."
   "Is that why you sent her to the ... uh ... Zero Room?"
   The Doctor frowned.  "My people are notoriously difficult to clone.  Our
DNA is tricky, and trying to replicate it usually has the most disastrous
effects.  Quite frankly, I'm surprised she's managed to survive this long.
I guess I can attribute it to my unique heritage."
   "And?"
   "And..." the Doctor sighed.  "I'm afraid her regeneration may be failing.
I don't know how long its been since she took on this body, but I'd wager
she's spent most of that time in an extremely well-controlled environment.
The stress of being out in the real world is only doing her harm.  Perhaps
in the Zero Room, she can correct the damage.  If not..."  He trailed off.
   "What?"
   "The Zero Room will give her a safe environment in which to regenerate. 
It may stabilize her next body and let it survive longer."  He inhaled deeply,
and turned toward the TARDIS.  "But I'm afraid this will be her final
regeneration.  She doesn't have any more."
   "What?"
   The Doctor smiled.  "You really are shaping up to be a wonderful travelling
companion, Wil.  Just don't go spraining your ankle, and you'll be fine."
   Wil scowled.  "Fine, don't explain."
   "I'm sorry.  I can't tell you how, but I've been able to discover that this
is going to be her final regeneration.  It must have  something to do with
the cloning process only being able to transfer so many regenerations, but
whatever the cause, she'll only have one more body after the one you saw."
   "Doctor?"
   "Yes?"
   "Haven't we walked past this spot already?"
   The Doctor looked around the room.  The TARDIS was standing where
it had originally been, but....
   "He's gone.  Jadi's disappeared."  Wil looked toward the TARDIS. 
"Could he be in there?"
   "I don't know.  We should check."

****************

Jadi rubbed his head, trying to recover from the dizziness that he'd come
to associate from a transmat beam.
   "Ah," said a hissing voice from somewhere above him.  "Why don't we
have him be the prisoner for a while, and we can *both* be the captors?"

*************

"I need an adapter,"  Angela told the Rutan.  "TIS female one end, and ...
whatever this is, for the other," she said patting the alien console in
front of her.  It had been years since she'd used the cranial port that
she'd had implanted as a teenager, but as far as she could tell, this was
what this system called for.  She fingered the jack at the base of her
neck, hoping that none of the connections had corroded.
   "Use the consoles."  That simultaneous speaking was really getting on
her nerves.
   "As far as I can tell, getting into this system requires using a mental
link *and* the consoles *simultaneously*."  She rifled through her
equipment (which the Rutan had thoughtfully had waiting for her when
they disgorged her next to what they'd identified as the main entrance node)
and selected a cable for her jack.  Ha!  Before Alcestus, most of her slicer
friends had called the jack a rich kid's toy without any practical
application.  They'd be completely out of their depth on this job, only
able to shrug and say "sorry" as the aliens sterilized the planet - if the
Rutan didn't exact their revenge first.  Only she would be able to hack
this job.
   Of course, her friends had been right.  The jack *was* a rich kid's toy.
*But what the hell?  I was a rich kid, and my parents could afford it.  And
it's certainly come in useful now, hasn't it?*
   The Rutan turned and stared at each other.  Well, Angela assumed they
were staring at each other.  Since the only human down here was her, the
Rutan had decided to adopt their natural form, big blobby jellyfish with
darker spots that *could* be visual organs.
   One of them shuffled toward her, leaving much of its mass behind it in a
slimy trail.  By the time it reached Angela's feet, it was about the size
of a parakeet.  "We will be your adapter," it announced, this time without
the chorus of the other Rutan behind it.
   Ick.
   The adapter Rutan launched itself at the alien computer, conforming its
shape to the input jack.  After a suitable period, it shaped its outer
surface to a Terran Imperial Standard female connection.  Angela selected
a longer cable, plugged one end into her cranial port, and the other into the
Rutan.
   She was in.  For better or for worse, she was in.

**********

Brigadier Bambera put her head in her hands and allowed herself ten seconds
to silently curse the sadist who'd invented bureaucracy.  Normally, she was
able to put herself above it all, and work outside the system.  Police, for
example, upon seeing her credentials would immediately fall in line and let
her get on with saving the world.
   She'd just spent three hours talking with her superiors in London and
Geneva, and she was still no closer to determining exactly what
organization was in charge of the commando team that had curtailed her
attempts to capture the Gallifreyan.  She was fairly sure that the
Browning's patient wasn't any incarnation of the Doctor, but Browning's
report did mention Gallifrey, which suggested some familiarity with the
Doctor's homeworld.
   She rubbed her eyes.  There really wasn't a great deal more that she could
do.  She had already sent a section of tracker squads onto the streets,
looking for any sign of the Doctor, the TARDIS, or the enigmatic female
patient.  If they found anything, she'd be the first to be notified,
whether she was at the office or at home.
   Home.  How long had it been since she'd had a chance to just sit at home
and spend time with Ancelyn and the twins.  She was almost out of her
office door when her desk phone rang.  She picked it up before it could
ring a second time.  "Bambera" she said into the receiver.
   "Um... Hello?"  asked a tentative young male voice on the other end of
the line.  "Is this UNIT?"
   Bambera's radar lit up.  "Who is this?"  It could be anyone.  Anyone
from a conspiracy nut who'd managed to get lucky, to the Doctor himself. 
Of course, the Doctor would probably be giving his code clearance or some
other proof of his identity at this point.
   "My name's Tim Matheson.  The Doctor told me it would be a good idea
to put myself into protective custody with you.  If you are UNIT, that is.  He
said to say '8920'"
   The code for immediate pick-up.  Sufficient verification of his story.  "Mr
Matheson, what's your current location?"
   "I'm using the pay phone in a McDonalds," the receiver became muffled
for a moment, and Bambera heard the young man asking for the address,
which he then relayed to her.
   "I'll be sending someone to pick you up, Mr. Matheson.  They should be
there within five minutes, and will give the same code you just gave me, so
you'll know who they are.  Have a seat in the dining area closest to the
pay phone."
   "Okay."
   "Good.  There's nothing to worry about, Mr. Matheson.  You're in good
hands."  Bambera disconnected the call and made contact with the tracker
squad closest to Matheson's location.  The instructions were given, and
Bambera could expect to see Matheson within half an hour.  She left her
office to prepare a debriefing room for the boy, practically running into
the Doctor on her way out.
   "Doctor!  We've been looking for you."  He seemed no worse for wear,
his safari jacket still clashing with his silver ascot.
   He smiled that toothy smile of his and replied "Well, here I am.  Let's
get to work."
   "What exactly did you have in mind?  I'm afraid we've come to a bit
of a brick wall.  My troops are about to pick up Matheson, by the way."
   "Matheson... yes.  As for what I have in mind.... follow me."  The
pseudo-Doctor set off down the corridor, Bambera trailing behind him.

************

"Can't find him," Wil stated, coming across the Doctor standing at the
door of the Zero Room.  "Going to check on her?"
   The Doctor nodded and entered the room.  And was left speechless.
Beatrice was hovering about 4 feet above the floor.  She looked about a
year younger than when Tom and Mike had first adopted her.

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